A Rundown of the Blackberry 10.2 User Interface

The new and sporty user interface of Blackberry handsets is two minor upgrades post the big unveiling of BlackBerry 10 a few months ago. Though version 10.2 is not a complete overhaul by any means, there are a few noteworthy features that will indeed enhance your BlackBerry experience to some degree on the Z30 or other compatible handset. As a whole, the OS runs with less fluidity and transparency than the offerings that Android and iPhone with its iOS 7 launch have brought to the table, but it is late in the game and 10 is by far the best smartphone software that Blackberry has produced to date.

In 10, the company has introduced two features focused on bettering the user’s experience by allowing people to access certain work and personal information separately – BlackBerry Balance is one. This is particularly useful simply because the BlackBerry was born as a workhorse phone for business people, but now is showing prowess in accomplishing both professional and life tasks. The second is the intelligent calendar, which can organize events, meetings, conference and other important task for you and make educated guesses on who – friends or coworkers – to invite.

As far as a portal that processes email, messages, and notifications, Blackberry Hub does an excellent job fitting itself into the interface nicely and neither being too subtle or too annoying with its alert system. Additionally, a few of the BlackBerry-original apps, like weather and Facebook, that are hallmarks of the phone have gotten a slight revamp in 10.2 and as a result are smoothly well integrated into the rest of the OS.

10.2 brings with it a new notification screen, even when your phone is locked, so that you don’t have to open up the phone’s interface from sleeping mode just to see if you’ve gotten any new messages. Otherwise, notifications will appear at the top of the screen as you’re working, and if they come in as BBMs you can even reply to them right then and there in the same line. Thanks to Instant Preview, you can tell your phone whether you wanted to be alerted by pop-up, LED or other in the case of a new message, text or voicemail, or whether you only want Priority alerts to show up.

Priority Hub is a newbie perk within the regular BlackBerry Hub mode. Priority is smart enough to take note of what you value as important and learn from your choices enough to stack emails, messages, and notifications into a hierarchy of importance. You can also choose to manually mark certain contacts or subjects as priority so that the system will learn your preferences faster and more accurately.

Productivity is paramount on the OS 10 platform, so there are shortcuts aplenty. Many you will find tucked away deep into menus, but a few are obvious. For instance, if you’re searching for a particular attachment you received at some point in time simply switch to Attachment View. You will then be able to see all the attachments you’ve received in list or grid format, and who sent them to you along with their file names. A handy sharing shortcut exists when sending a picture or video out to a friend; BlackBerry will suggest Facebook or Twitter to you, or a contact’s name who it thinks you might want to share it with based on your regular habits. Finally, the copy and paste is now more of a shortcut than a hassle. Instead of the old sidebar that the menu used to appear in when you gave the copy command, a new pop up box on the right is the way of things now. 10.2 is only a shortcut away from an even new and better version than before.

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